January 2015 Meeting – O.C.’s Late Modern Architecture 1970 – 1985 – Speaker: Daniel Paul

Flour Building, Irvine

Architectural historian Daniel Paul will discuss Orange County’s Late Modern architecture at the Jan. 8th, 2015 meeting of the Orange County Historical Society, starting at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 2400 N. Canal St., in Orange. This program is open to the public at no charge.

Los Angeles was largely built out by 1965, but Orange County certainly was not. This fact, combined with a fair amount of county-wide wealth in the 1970s and 1980s, led to a local building boom. Many of the more visible and most innovative commercial buildings of this recent-past era are Late-Modern in design, often clad in smooth grids of all-over reflecting glass. Daniel Paul will explain the early context of the Late-Modern glass skin design system, and present examples of Orange County’s distinctive Late-Modern architecture. The majority of the buildings to be presented date between 1970 and 1985. No longer new, yet not commonly perceived as “historic,” such buildings are perceived as out of vogue. The buildings are therefore particularly vulnerable to insensitive alterations, or even early demolition.

“Some years ago, Daniel took me on a tour of the Late Modern architecture around Irvine and Newport Beach,” said OCHS President Chris Jepsen. “Based on the subject matter, I didn’t start the trek with much excitement. But it turns out this era of architecture is as interesting as any other, and I learned to see these familiar surroundings with new eyes – which is one of my favorite aspects of discovering local history. I was also surprised to learn how much our local architects impacted national trends.”

Village Investments, Irvine

In 2004 Orange County native Daniel Paul earned a Master’s Degree in Art History from California State University, Northridge. His Master’s Thesis was an early attempt to properly contextualize Late-Modern glass skin architecture: a ubiquitous 1970s era corporate design system that he continues to research. Presently Daniel is a senior architectural historian with the global consulting firm of ICF International. Among his projects, Daniel has landmarked a variety of historic properties in Los Angeles including the Capitol Records building and the entirety of Griffith Park. Daniel is the former Acting Director of the folk art environment “Grandma Prisbrey’s Bottle Village,” is the former Vice-Chairperson of the Los Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee, and is presently a board member of Docomomo SoCal: the regional chapter of a globally active post-war architecture preservation entity. Over the last 15 years, Daniel has given numerous presentations focused upon recent past architecture. His writings on the topic can be found in Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design, and The Architect’s Newspaper.